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Board Meeting Etiquette

Board meeting etiquette is a set of unspoken rules that members follow in order to ensure the smooth running of meetings. The proper manner of conducting meetings allows boards to function at the level that is appropriate to their roles, and fosters collaboration. Following these guidelines is essential for a successful board meeting:

Respect the time of others by being punctual. Be prepared by studying the materials for the board ahead of time. Avoid distractions like your mobile or emails and close unnecessary laptop windows unless it’s an emergency. During conversations, refrain from interruptions to conversations or side conversations. Pay attention and ask questions as needed. If you’re not sure whether the topic is relevant you can ask the speaker or the chair of the board for clarification.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, immediately send the board an agenda and any reports that are open for discussion prior to the meeting date so that the board can examine the information and prepare for the meeting. By submitting these documents prior the meeting helps save time and allows the discussion to be focused on the topic at hand.

Respect your fellow board members regardless of whether they agree with you. Remember that the board’s role is to represent stakeholder and shareholder interests and make decisions that will support the success of the company.

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